Barrel-Aged Silhouette
Lift Bridge Brewery

Barrel-Aged SilhouetteBarrel-Aged Silhouette
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Russian Imperial Stout
Ranked #11
Ranked #186
4.52 | pDev: 6.19%
Lift Bridge Brewery
Minnesota, United States
Barrel-Aged SilhouetteBarrel-Aged Silhouette
Notes: Barrel aged Silhouette is as deep and dark as the thick Northern Woods. It’s brewed in the style of an Imperial Stout. Aromas of coffee, molasses, chocolate and prune meld with an intense dark roasted character. This beer is complex, rich and full bodied. Its wild spirit will warm the senses, illuminate the soul, and grow into a traditional matter what season.
Reviews: 74 | Ratings: 523 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of CraftFan5
4.84/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

16 May 2020 - Beer #95 - BA Top 250 Alert!

Corona Day #65

Price: $19.99 Lowry Hill Liquor in Minneapolis
Current Rank: #184 on Beer Advocate

Appearance: 4 - extremely black, and a bit thin. Head fizzled away immediately.

Nose: 5 - nearly all sweet barrel. Good!

Taste: 5 - basically all barrel. Fruitier than some other big stouts for sure. Reminds me a little of Surly Darkness, which can almost pass for a quad.

Mouth: 4 - thick and sticky, but quite flat. Glides down the throat smoothly, but I prefer more carbonation.

Overall: 5 - waited years to finally try this one. Will be sure to hunt it down again next time I'm in that part of the country.


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CraftFan5 from New Jersey, May 21, 2020
Photo of Treyliff
4.58/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2015 Vintage
750ml bottle poured into a snifter

A- pours jet black in color with a one-finger foamy dark brown head that reduces to a ring around the edge

S- intense barrel aromas are immediately noticed; boozy bourbon, wet oak, caramel, vanilla & coconut. The base beer gives aromas of dark chocolate, fudge brownies, brown sugar, molasses, raisins, figs, black licorice & charred wood.

T- opens with a milk chocolaty malty note that is enhance by a vanilla creamy/marshmallow sweetness. Mid-palate starts to bring out the barrel influence, with notes of barrel juice, peppery oak, caramel and coconut. The finish gives notes of raisins, figs, black licorice and charred malt, lingers of bourbon barrel and chocolate

M- medium body with moderate carbonation leads to a creamy mouthfeel that continues into a silky warming finish

O- a world class example of a straight up barrel aged RIS

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Treyliff from West Virginia, Apr 08, 2020
Photo of bbtkd
4.31/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Lift Bridge Barrel-Aged Silhouette, 11% ABV. Pours black, with a slight brown head that left no lacing. Nose is moleasses, chocolate, bourbon, char, and dark fruit. Taste is chocolate, moleasses, bourbon, roast malt, and coffee, with a moderate bitter close. Excellent mouthfeel, overall excellent.

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bbtkd from South Dakota, Feb 02, 2020
Photo of mwilbur
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2020 vintage. Poured from 12 oz bottle into snifter.
A: Pours a thick very dark brown with a faint skim of super dark mocha head.
S: Molasses, charred wood, sweet bourbon, vanilla, fig, and a hint of sweet chocolate.
T: Thick sweet molasses, prune, vanilla, sweet bourbon, dark smooth chocolate, and a hint of coffee.
M: Heavy body with thick and viscous feel. Very smooth. Several sources of sweetness, but not too much. Mildly dry with decent alcohol burn continuing into the finish. Lingers nicely on the palate.
D: Very nice winter sipper! Perfect for an evening like tonight (just finished snowing 6+ inches, now blowing and blustering).

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mwilbur from Minnesota, Jan 18, 2020
Photo of SD-Alefan
4.55/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2019 vintage. Pours a deep, opaque dark brown with a minimal tan head.
Aroma is roast, chocolate, vanilla, bourbon.
Taste is nutty, dark chocolate, roast coffee, molasses, raisin. Closes with a bitter, boozy note on the tongue.
Mouthfeel is slightly thin, smooth and slightly sticky.
Overall, complex and delicious.

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SD-Alefan from South Dakota, Oct 28, 2019
Photo of Sabtos
4.3/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Glossy black with a short mocha blanket settling to a soft persistent collar.

This has an excellent balance between the wonderfully nutty, smoothly roasty stout body and the sticky, syrupy barrel character that dries out nicely on the swallow. The barrel provides Raisinettes, coconut drizzle, and bruleed toffee notes within the whiskey that's warming but measured.

The body is actually moderately light and silky with a light crackly carbonation that comes to a semi-dry finish at first, but then leaves a light stickiness on the lips.

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Sabtos from Ohio, Oct 18, 2019
Photo of superspak
4.25/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into snifter; 2018 vintage, bottle #4949. Pours opaque dark brown/black color with a small fairly dense khaki head with poor retention, that reduces to a minimal spotty lace cap that lingers. Minimal spotty lacing on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big milk/dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, molasses, brown sugar, toffee, bourbon, toasted oak, roasted nuts, biscuit, and dark/brown bread/crust; with lighter notes of vanilla, coconut, licorice, raisin, prune, cherry, fig, date, smoke, charcoal, leather, tobacco, herbal, grass, pepper, and yeast/roast/toasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of dark/roast/bready malts, moderate bourbon barrels, and light fruity yeast/earthy hop notes; with big strength. Taste of huge milk/dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, molasses, brown sugar, toffee, bourbon, toasted oak, roasted nuts, biscuit, and dark/brown bread/crust; with lighter notes of vanilla, coconut, licorice, raisin, prune, cherry, fig, date, smoke, charcoal, leather, tobacco, herbal, grass, pepper, and yeast/roast/toasted earthiness. Very mild herbal, grass, roast, charred bitterness; and bourbon/oak tannin spiciness on the finish. Lingering notes of milk/dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, molasses, brown sugar, toffee, bourbon, toasted oak, roasted nuts, biscuit, dark/brown bread/crust, vanilla, coconut, licorice, dark fruit, smoke, charcoal, leather, tobacco, herbal, grass, pepper, and yeast/roast/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malts, moderate bourbon barrels, and light fruity yeast/earthy hop flavors; with a nice roasted bitter/sweet and bourbon/oak spiciness balance; with no cloying, acrid, astringent flavors after the finish. Lightly increasing dryness from lingering bitterness and bourbon/oak spiciness. Light-medium carbonation and very full body; with a very smooth, creamy/silky/velvety/bready, and lightly slick/sticky/chalky/tannic mouthfeel that is fantastic, Minimal warming alcohol for 10%, with no lingering barrel booze after the finish. Overall this is a fantastic barrel aged Russian imperial stout. All around fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malts, moderate bourbon barrels, and light fruity yeast/earthy hop flavors; very smooth and dangerously easy to sip on for the big ABV, with the minimally bitter/tannic/drying finish. Fantastic soft feel. Not as much barrel as I expected, but adequate. Fantastic rich malt complexity; solid barrel presence/integration, restrained fruity yeast, and mild earthy hops. Not overly sweet/heavy from lingering dryness. A highly enjoyable offering, and impressive spot on style example.

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superspak from Michigan, Aug 19, 2019
Photo of FriedSlug
4.66/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Jet black with a dark brown head that retreats to the edges of the glass. The aroma is an amazing blend of bourbon, coffee, dark chocolate, raisins and caramel. The taste is exactly the same as the smell with the bourbon up front and the rest of the flavors coming in after that. There is a nice bitterness that lingers with the sweetness of the raisins and caramel at the end. Just a delicious stout.

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FriedSlug from North Carolina, Jul 01, 2019
Photo of WickedBeer
4.55/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2019 bottle. 12oz, 11% ABV.

The pour is dark and viscous, poured cold so allowed room to warm, so not much of any rising head or visible carbonation. A thin beige ring surrounds the top of the beer in the glass.

A huge chocolatey aroma reminds me of brownie batter, with a nice underlying complexity of molasses and dark fruit. There's a roasty malt character to this as well, but that initial chocolate dessert sweetness really wins the day on the nose.

A fantast contrast in the flavor profile brings out a ton of barrel character, as well as a much stronger emergence of those dark fruits and molasses characteristics. The barrel brings out additional flavors of vanilla, oak, and bourbon, and roasty dark coffee begins to grab a good bit of influence as well as it warms further. In the finish its all bourbon, with a familiar boozy spice on the tail.

Warming, smooth, viscous. As it slips down the back, there's a good level of residual mouth-coating, and does well to accompany a boozy burn down the hatch. Definitely would consider a full-bodied beer, and drinks like more of a 14+% BA stout, in all the best ways possible.

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WickedBeer from Alabama, Jun 27, 2019
Photo of soze47
4.28/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Really slick and tasty and does everything I’d want for a bba Stout. There is a nice caramel sweetness and the nose that really perseveres through the line. This is a sweet beer all things considered. But I appreciate the well constructed layers

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soze47 from Massachusetts, Apr 08, 2019
Photo of don1481
4.56/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ok, so I recently picked up some of these down here in Milwaukee. Never had it before, was on my want list for several years now.

Poured a dark near black. Smells heavily barrel forward, and not cheap barrel at that. Tastes like the nose; barrel forward with the beer itself complimenting the notes of the barrel. Barrel lingers in the mouth for a bit then fades to the base beer.

If you want a BA stout that isnt barrel dominant, this isn't for you. Interestingly, though, I usually fall in that camp and I absolutely love this beer and am hoarding all I can find of it.

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don1481 from Wisconsin, Apr 03, 2019
Photo of oldred1492
4.73/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2019 vintage. Have had most of Lift Bridge's offering and found them to be good but not exceptional; Silhouette is the latter. Pours pitch black with some light barely visible at the top edge in my Spiegelau stout glass. Delicious meld of coffee and bourbon on the nose. Flavor profile goes together perfectly, not too much bourbon but the perfect amount IMHO and not too boozy but just right. Nice full body but not too much either. This is fantastic and given the choice of this or some of the better know BA stouts like BCBS, CBS or KBS I've enjoyed, I'd pick this over them.

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oldred1492 from Minnesota, Mar 23, 2019
Photo of Sandis
4.6/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2019 version poured from a 12 oz. bottle on 1-27-19.
I typically age these beers for a few years but I'm glad I tried it fresh this time. Ranks at the top of my favorite years of this beer.

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Sandis from Minnesota, Mar 19, 2019
Photo of ktr5010
4.59/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours pitch black with a medium mocha colored head. Smells great with notes of barrel present but not overpowering. Tastes like a lot of chocolatey goodness and roasted coffee. Very rich feel and taste. Great barrel taste and balance. Think this reminds me a lot of BA Expedition.

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ktr5010 from Illinois, Feb 13, 2019
Photo of larryi86
4.55/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Thank you Vidblain for this
750 ml bottle, 2017, poured into tulip

A- Black with a small tan head

S- Bourbon, chocolate, charred oak, molasses, hints of vanilla

T- Bourbon, chocolate, dark fruits, molasses, vanilla, oak, touch of coffee bitterness in the finish, very well balanced

M- Smooth, medium to full body

O- A great, well balanced Barrel Aged RIS that isn’t over the top with the ABV. Very enjoyable and easy to drink.

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larryi86 from Delaware, Feb 10, 2019
Photo of zeff80
4.59/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Republic. Poured an opaque, jet-black color with a small, brown head of foam. It smelled of bourbon, oak, vanilla, coffee, dark chocolate and toffee. Rich bourbon taste with dark chocolate, vanilla, toffee and a roasted malt.

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zeff80 from Missouri, Jan 04, 2019
Photo of MonDak_Joe1953
4.46/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750ml bottle into glass. 2018 vintage.
Black colored body, with slim dark brown back lit highlights. Partial finger head upon pouring results in a scenic show of rising bubbles replenishing the scattered islands and thin ring. Leaves behind a few scattered, small spots of lacing.
Aroma of dark roasted malts soaked in bourbon, which brings out smells of coffee, chocolate, toffee, and dark fruit.
Taste is robust and layered, with bourbon soaked dark roasted malts, chocolate, molasses, and prune. The coffee aspect is there but weak.
Medium plus mouth feel. Slightly oily. Good carbonation.
Very solid barrel aged stout, with balanced expressions of nose and flavors. Make sure to allow the beer to warm up to recommended temperatures. This allows for a fuller sensory experience. Really tastes like bourbon soaked prunes.

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Photo of Scott17Taylor
4.56/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Outstanding BA stout. It’s got tons of chocolatey sweetness and a very pronounced, but not dominating barrel character. The bourbon blends perfectly with the big malty flavors of dark fruit, and chocolate. The mouthfeel is super thick and coating, perfect for the style. Overall I’ll be making the effort to get this again, it’s great.

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Photo of REVZEB
4.05/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very good barrel aged russian imperial stout. Doesn't meet the hype, but does not disappoint either. The body did meet the hype, with a roasty, thick, and boozy feel all the way through the glass. The taste was a bit smoky, with the bourbon and malt leading the charge with aftertastes of dark chocolate, oat and tobacco. Very enjoyable, would have again on a cold winter night

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REVZEB from Illinois, Jun 26, 2018
Photo of pmarlowe
4.45/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2017 vintage.

A: Pours a brown-tinted black, and manages just a thin ring of dense tan head with an aggressive pour. Exceedingly persistent. A few long streaks of lacing.

S: Sweet baker’s chocolate in the forefront, alongside vanilla, bourbon, and oak, with a hint of roast that’s almost char-like.

T: Rich, sweetish chocolate is balanced slightly more with some roastiness (nearly burnt) and dark coffee, but the balance is still towards the chocolate. Pretty well integrated bourbon, oak, and vanilla which round out the flavor and last through the finish.

M: Full bodied, chewy, with a sharp medium carbonation. Warming with a slight alcohol bite.

O: Very respectable barrel aged RIS. Doesn’t quite have the complexity or depth of other examples, but tasty and well executed. I could do without the char-like flavor, though.

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pmarlowe from Virginia, Feb 08, 2018
Photo of darktronica
4.41/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2018 bomber, and I'm very excited to be able to try this one. Pours black and moderately thick but not syrupy, with very little head that eventually burbles up from below. The nose is a bit subdued, with cacao nibs, vanilla, red wine tannins, and malt balls, plus a tiny hint of black cherry and plum on occasion. Big bourbon notes on the tongue that amplify the aromas and provide some spice. Punching above its weight class at 10% abv. A nice, moderately full mouthfeel and boozy finish.

I will definitely try to get another bottle of this to put away and age. I love it.

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Photo of gcamparone
4.11/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a snifter glass. Thanks Ryan for sharing this one.

Pours a medium-dark brown body, translucent on the pour but black in the glass. Small brown ring of foam.

On the nose is roasty malts, dark fruits, figs, whiskey and light chocolate. Not a super potent aroma.

On the tongue, it’s pretty whiskey-forward but a little thin with chocolate/light coffee flavors, dark fruits on the follow through and a very roasty aftertaste which I enjoyed. Mouthfeel is lighter for an imperial stout. Medium carbonation.

Overall enjoyable to drink but was maybe expecting a little more, especially in the mouthfeel department.

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gcamparone from Rhode Island, Jan 29, 2018
Photo of RAlmeida77
4.12/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2017 bottle poured into a teku. Dark brown with a subtle head. Aroma is nice...barrel, vanilla, toffee and chocolate. Subtle hints of molasses and dark fruit. Taste really let me down. Minimal barrel, slight booziness with some dark fruit and molasses. Feel is onthe thinner side. Wanted it to be more viscous. Overall, good beer but don’t see the hype.

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RAlmeida77 from Massachusetts, Jan 27, 2018
Photo of Sammydabull54
4.57/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

On tap at 2018 release patty.
Motor oil color dark tan head.
Sweet Chocolate, dark fruit smell. Great mouth feel, very luscious. Lot of chocolate up front. Bourbon on the back. Excellent!

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Sammydabull54 from Minnesota, Jan 20, 2018
Photo of wulfie85
4.08/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good chocolate and a little heat on the nose. Solid flavor that backed up the aroma, but the thin mouthfeel and bit of heat were not to my liking. Overall a solid brew though

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wulfie85 from California, Dec 29, 2017
Barrel-Aged Silhouette from Lift Bridge Brewery
Beer rating: 99 out of 100 with 523 ratings